I am married but my spouse is not living with me. Can I apply to Ontario Works (OW) for social assistance on my own?

Question: 
I am married but my spouse is not living with me. Can I apply to Ontario Works (OW) for social assistance on my own?
Answer: 

It depends on the reason you are not living together. If the two of you do not intend to get back together again, OW can find that there is "no reasonable prospect of reconciliation." In this case, they would not consider you a couple.

But they might consider the two of you a couple if the reason you are not living together now is one of the following:

  • Your spouse is away at school or looking for work somewhere else.
  • Your spouse is in another country waiting for a visa to come to Canada.
  • There are problems with your relationship, but there is still a chance you might get back together.

If OW considers you and your spouse to be a couple even though you are not living together, you should get legal advice.

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